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Comment: Re:instead of just posting here... (Score 1) 89 89

After all, data about money can't be more important than money itself and money safeguarding/management has already outsourced to banks since, when? always?

"Next time there's a server security breach, I'll call my accountants to come fix it right?"

How's this any different to a physical bank security breach (aka robbery)? Next time the bank your accountants work with is robbed will you call them to fix the mess too?

You should look into how much people trusted banks with their money before the advent of FDIC. People trust banks with their money because the government is insuring it against theft or loss. No such guarantee comes with Cloud storage.

Comment: Re:The most underrated misconception of economics (Score 1) 937 937

And you realize the purported purpose of the bailouts was so people don't lose their life savings, homes, and businesses, right?

Emphasis on "purported". If the Fed or Treasury's priority was helping regular people they would have helped people pay their mortgages. Instead they threw money at the banks to make them whole, while letting Main Street get foreclosed upon. You can say the banks were forced to take the money, and they may have said that in public. But it doesn't hold up to assert that the banks didn't need the money. It obviates the whole bailout.

Finally, who's to say what the "correct" duration of time to hold a house is? If the banks really need the cash, they can put them to auction. And they frequently do.

But Drinkypoo's point is that they aren't selling the houses because they don't need the money because they are being propped up by the government.

Comment: Re:Subsidize the supply side (Score 1) 937 937

The problem is that we spent so long subsidizing the demand side that the supply for housing is hopelessly outpaced. The prices have skyrocketed over the past 15 years to the point where first-time buyers are largely priced out of the market. Want to drive home ownership in a sustainable way? Drive it at the supply side. That means subsidizing the whole supply chain, from land to materials to labor. Drive a massive swell of building to bring supply well above demand and watch as homeownership rates rise quickly but sustainably even as market speculators (who really just drive up prices further) get crushed under the weight of falling home prices.

Haven't we tried supply-side economics? What is to keep the supply side from simply pocketing the subsidy and continuing on at current prices?

Comment: Re:sigh... (Score 1) 937 937

If a fraction of the money that was used to bailout the banks had been used to just pay down the mortgages of those homeowners, the worst of the economic collapse would have been averted and the banks would have still gotten their money. Then, the bailouts wouldn't have been necessary at all.

But, but then you'd just be giving money to people! Some of them might not have been responsible! We can't just do that! Moral hazard! Whaargaarble!

Nope, better to just give, I mean loan, money to the banks. They're the responsible ones after all.

Comment: Re:sigh... (Score 1) 937 937

The only reason that banks do this is because government bail-out programs have made it more profitable to let it rot than to sell it -- primarily, this was accomplished with the suspension of mark to market during the crisis.

Basically, these properties were all allowed to sit on bank's books as though they were worth whatever was paid for them rather than their actual value (because if all of the banks had been forced to write down all the property on which they lost >50% of their investment, they would all have been insolvent)

Heh, which basically means they were insolvent. They probably still are. And yet their executives probably think the poor are a bunch of moochers, suckling at the government teat!

Comment: Re: sigh... (Score 1) 937 937

You realize the government (and hence the taxpayers) made lots of money off the bailout? The bailout was a loan that turned out to be a great investment. It was not a gift. Also, several banks were forced to take money at that time that they didn't need or want. Wells Fargo was very unhappy about this in particular. I'm tired of hearing the implication that the banks somehow got something for free. They paid a lot for that bailout - the interest they paid essentialy paid for the auto manufacturers bailout.

It's not nearly that simple. Yes, the initial loans were paid back. But there were myriad programs for buttressing the banks, some of them secret. The Fed still won't disclose how much and to whom they lent money. The Fed engaged in massive quantitative easing for years, which basically translates into free money for the banks. They also maintain a zero interest rate policy which is another huge subsidy to the banking industry. They can do things as mundane as borrow for free and turn around and buy Treasury bonds. Sure, it's only .25%, but you can make it up in volume. The banks literally have a money machine, which is the only reason they can still be in business.

Comment: Re:sigh... (Score 1) 937 937

Honestly? I'd rather it collapsed. I think it would have woken up the majority of America in a way that it desperately needed.

That's partly why they didn't let it collapse. Not only did they save a handful of connected companies, they avoided the blame for the downturn being directed at those responsible. If Goldman Sachs, AIG, BoA and whomever else had been put into receivership, their shareholders wiped out and their bondholders clipped, it would have caused immediate and obvious pain. It would have caused people to sit up and notice and demand to know how we got into this situation. The PTB can't have that because it would have exposed the shenanigans they engage in to make so much money.

Comment: Re:Not me, not in California (Score 1) 937 937

I have had an empty apartment sitting around for a couple of years because I'm sure as hell not going to rent it out under current "renters' protection laws". It's better just to let it appreciate and then eventually sell.

As long as it appreciates faster than the interest on your loan.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 937 937

I'm about to rent a luxury apartment (resort style, costs about $1100 a month, has gym, two large pools, tons of other amenities) and one of their requirements is that your income has to be at least 3 times what the rent costs.

Holy Hell, that's cheap! Where are you??

Comment: Re:Unhealthy food is tasty. Healthy food is boring (Score 1) 244 244

So, you expect the broccoli will let you live forever? Or just drop-dead some day without a need for anyone to change your diaper?

Actually yes, that is the goal. Not to live forever, of course. But maintaining health into old age, and avoiding "lifestyle" diseases, is part of the reason I work out and try to eat healthily. Besides, being physically fit makes life easier (not that I'm some triathlete, but I think I'm in better shape than most people my age). I enjoy a little bit of ice cream here and there and still love chocolate. I just don't eat the entire pint or bar in one sitting. I hit the gym twice a week and pay attention to what I eat, that's all. It's not really a big deal, you just have to be mindful.

Comment: Re:Unhealthy food is tasty. Healthy food is boring (Score 1) 244 244

Is this some kind of natural law?

Nope, not a law at all. Healthy food can be quite delicious. But you can't get it out of a bag or a can. Doritos taste good because they are chemically engineered to be that way, and then focus-grouped to refine the flavor. Fruits, vegetables and legumes are the way they are. It up to the person to combine them in a tasty way.

I don't think Americans eat the way they eat primarily because of the flavor of the food. It has more to do with ease, convenience and price.

Comment: Re:My developers work 37 hr weeks (Score 1) 381 381

Yeah, I just turned down a job offer that sounded remarkably like this. And they could not understand why I *want* to work remotely, and on a flex schedule.

Nor could they understand why I do *not* want to work for control freaks. Bet you can't, either.

Isn't it nice that not everyone has to work for Shawn Anderson? He said his employees appreciate the schedule. You would not. That's fine. It doesn't make him wrong or a control freak. It's almost as if different people have different wants and needs and should work for an employer that fits their situation. Strange, eh?

Comment: What do you expect? (Score 1) 381 381

"We are a tired, stressed and overworked nation, which has many negative consequences for our personal health and the care of our children. As a nation, we work harder and longer than almost all of our competitors, and much of that work is uncompensated."

What do you expect when you allow business interests, almost exclusively, to have their voices heard and set the agenda? There is an attitude in this country that seems to hold that the population exists to be employees, rather than businesses existing to serve the population. Its upside-down. But it shows how far out of whack this country's priorities are.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.

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